Jetpack 2.9 Introduces Multisite Support and Related Posts Module

Jetpack 2.9 was released today with the long-awaited Related Posts module, which was introduced on in early November 2013.

Server resource-intensive features such as stats tracking and related posts are very difficult to accomplish in an efficient way. Jetpack’s new Related Posts module uses resources to do this instead, which is undoubtedly a huge relief to hosting companies who have had to deal with the negative effects of customers using inefficient plugins.

We’ve turned the module on for the Tavern website, as you can see below this post. When you configure the module, you’ll be presented with the option of using plain text for the related content or a more visually striking display that includes featured images:

Configuration options for related posts module
Configuration options for related posts module

Customizing Related Posts

Related content is determined based on the content of the post and any tags or categories applied. The module also supports custom post types in that it defaults to posts of the same post type. This can be changed by using the ‘jetpack_relatedposts_filter_post_type’ filter.

Additionally, you can customize this module by creating your own functionality plugin, the preferred method for extending related posts. The Jetpack docs outline several examples for customizing related content using the available filters. This allows you to easily change the number of related posts, modify where they are displayed, exclude specific posts and more.

New Multisite Support

Jetpack is now multisite-aware with the added ability to manage all multisite connections in the network admin. Previously, super admins had to manage the connections on an individual site basis, even though Jetpack could be activated network-wide. Network activating Jetpack allows you to administer all your connections from one master account and unlocks a new Jetpack > Settings tab in the network admin. This screen allows you to do three things:

  • Manage all your sites’ connections
  • Control whether individual site admins can reconnect with their own accounts
  • Designate which Jetpack modules are activated by default

New Options Added to Single Sign On

Jetpack 2.9 gives site administrators a new whip to crack in order to ensure a higher level of security. Site admins using the Single Sign On module now have the option to require users to have two-step authentication enabled on their account before they are allowed to log in.

This release also offers new shortcodes and oEmbed capabilities for Mixcloud and Gist content. For a full list of all the enhancements and bug fixes in 2.9, check out the Jetpack changelog.


24 responses to “Jetpack 2.9 Introduces Multisite Support and Related Posts Module”

  1. Like the related posts Sarah.

    “…the option of using plain text for the related content or a more visually striking display that includes featured images:”

    If you don’t have featured images does it grab the first image in the post?

    Just checked out my own question…

    “A post’s featured image will appear as the thumbnail. If you haven’t set a featured image for the post, the feature will pull the first image in the body of the post. Thumbnails are generated as square as possible.”

    • In at least one instance, a post that didn’t have a featured image or an image within the post showed up next to two related posts with featured images. It didn’t look as bad as I thought. The related post with no images just showed a longer excerpt to make up the difference.

    • Rick,

      Jetpack Related Posts use nofollow for 2 main reasons:

      – On, we track clicks on the Related Posts so that we can improve the algorithm used to find related posts. By using nofollow, we prevent crawlers from affecting the algorithm.
      – We also use nofollow to dissociate the related posts from the current page. Since Related Posts are automatically generated, the nofollow should prevent whatever the module links to from affecting SEO on either page.

      In the end, the module should not help with SEO on your site, but we try to make sure it doesn’t hurt your SEO either, just in case unrelated posts would appear in the module.

  2. Are you guys just giving the related posts module a run out or will you be keeping it?

    I’m using the nRelate related posts plugin at the moment and it works fine – the Jetpack one does look neat though.

    As for the weird URL’s – the URL’s with nRelate are just regular URL’s.

      • It appears that when you click on a post in the Related Posts section, the new URL forces the module to exclude the post that you just came from. I am guessing the purpose behind this is to keep the related posts section fresh so that you’re not just looping through the same 3 posts when surfing through related posts.

    • We’ll be keeping it. We already use Jetpack for so many other aspects of the site, Related Posts is a big bonus. I like the fact that the layout of the related posts is similar to what is used on much larger, content heavy sites. It’s also nice that the infrastructure is handling all the processing to find out what is related instead of our hosting account.

      If there is anyway you could offload the relationship processing to a service, I think it’s something you should look into.

        • Well, we’ve had it on all day and I don’t notice any decrease in speed for this site. We’re using Varnish caching, Cloudflare, and on Dreampress.

          • Thanks for sharing your hosting formula; always an interesting topic. When did you switch hosts? Was it painless? I remember your detailed posts about some resource issues you were having last year.

            Congrats to the entire crew as this is an awesome hangout. Your Tavern is moving at warp-speed; it’s on FIRE!

            I mean, you guys are very, very, prolific.

            Don’t want to joke about a fire with with all the beautiful wood paneling… ;)

            BTW, I drink WP Kool Aid by the gallon…and I’m still numb from the amazing #WPTHINKTANK.

            Cheers & continued success to everyone at the Tavern!

  3. Just updated Jetpack! I like the related posts feature but I think my existing theme’s built-in “related posts” feature is better choice for me. Related posts appear in the end of posts and looks more appealing. Anyway, many themes do not have related posts built-in feature and there Jetpack will be powering it. Good Job Automatic! :)

  4. Jetpack has given me issues when I update it, not all times.

    While it is updating, if I go in a different tab to, it will tell me site is on maintenance (or something like that).

    After updating, sometimes it doesn’t clear and there is a .maintenance file. I go via my ftp program and delete that file and voila site back.

    Why does this happen?

    • Well, every plugin upgrade invokes the maintenance mode that WordPress goes into during the upgrade. It sounds like it’s getting stuck or something. My advice, let the upgrade routine do it’s thing before doing anything else in WordPress.

  5. So far the related posts seem pretty good for my site. There’s a few glitches. Sometimes an image from the current article appears (eg. Sometimes it picks some that really aren’t relevant.

    What is great though is that you can now track in Google Analytics exactly how many page views happen from people clicking related posts because it adds ‘?relatedposts…’ to the url. Just filter for it in the top pages report.

    Cheers, Rob

  6. Dear Sarah, noticed related post feature in this new version of jetpack but i am not able to locate email subscription widget in this new version of jetpack as well another issue that i have faced- it need atleast 3.7 to activate. Do you have any idea how to getback email subscription widget of jetpack.

  7. Where do you go to “Designate which Jetpack modules are activated by default”? I don’t see it under the Network Settings.


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